Does it seem like you could travel around the world and back again with all of the unused airline miles you've tossed away over the years? The good new is that under certain conditions you may actually be able to transfer unused miles to family members during the holiday travel season.
If you would like to help a loved one enjoy a cheap vacation, the first thing you should do is see if you can lend them some of your miles. While many rewards programs are flexible when it comes to sharing miles and combining points, others have tight restrictions on what you can and can't do. In addition, you should be very careful to learn about how long a transfer takes to be completed.
The time it takes for a company to transfer points and miles can range between a few seconds and several weeks. Is cheap travel on your mind? Take a look at how you can give someone you care about the gift of free airline miles.
Create A Household Account
Many airlines give you the option to create a household account that allows points to be pooled between everyone living under one address. This is a fabulous option if you have kids who will be flying home from college during the holiday season. Of course, a household account should be set up far advance of when you anticipate your next flight will be.
Redeem Your Rewards For Someone Else
You may not have to actually go through the process of transferring miles if the airline at hand allows you to redeem miles in someone else's name. Be sure to speak with a representative in advance to make sure conflicts with credit card information won't hinder you from successfully purchasing a flight ticket.
Complete A Transfer
If you have accumulated a large amount of miles over the years, you may be granted the ability to simply transfer your miles to another person. Many credit card companies and airlines give preferred members the privilege of transferring their miles to other flyers once they've surpassed a certain level of loyalty. Be sure to speak with a representative from your preferred airline to see if you qualify for this benefit when booking future flights.
Transfer Points Instead Of Miles
Travel points don't come exclusively from airlines. Many credit card companies give customers the option to turn accumulated points into airline seats. What's more, many companies allow customers to transfer these points to other accounts.
If you'll be transferring points from your credit card to another user, you may be able to take care of the process online. Most credit card companies that allow point transfers require you to transfer the points to someone who is active in a partner program.
Many credit card companies also give you the opportunity to combine your points with the points that have already been earned by the person you're sharing with.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a good example of this. You can use your Ultimate Rewards to book a flight for someone else, or move your points to another Chase card with Ultimate Rewards belonging to you, your spouse or domestic partner. This card lets you earn 2 points per $1 on dining at restaurants all over the world and travel purchases, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases charged to it. If you don't yet have this card you can earn 50,000 bonus points after you successfully apply and spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. Just those bonus points are worth $625 in travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, plus you can earn 5,000 bonus points after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening. You can also transfer rewards at a 1:1 point transfer rate to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs at full value (1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points), so if the person you share your points with has their own Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, they can transfer the points you share to their frequent flyer program.
Scott Dylan is a contributing writer at GET.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.Editorial Disclosure: Any personal views and opinions expressed by the author in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of GET.com. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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